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Showing posts from September, 2009

A sunburnt country

My first thought today when I woke up in Sydney was “I slept in, I’m late”.

My second was “oh, and the apocalypse is here”.

There was an enormous dust storm last night and Sydney was blanketed in a thick red cloud of dust. It’s faded to a sullen yellow glow now, but at seven this morning the rising suns rays hitting the dust obliquely turned the city amber and red, like all the city was the outback glowing in the dawn. There are some great shots of it here.

The million dollar views of Darling Harbour look out now on an outback dust-storm. Exasperated staff sweep tracks of red dirt from the floor and furnishings of shops and restaurants. Billboards look sepia through the fog, like relics of another time and place. The cars in the city are coated in grime, the corner offices of the financial district smeared with a film of dust.

You forget how big, how dry this country is. You forget most of the cities cling to the sea, cowering away from the vast hot red and yellow plains of the centre.…

Published in MX today - Losing weight and your sanity, a step-by-step approach

Summer is coming, and I’m not ready. I thought I was in shape but according to a fitness assessment at the gym, that shape is a Stop-sign – stationary, large and bright red.

I knew I should have got fitter before I went to the gym to get checked out. It’s like cleaning before the cleaners come; it doesn’t make sense but it’s a bit less embarrassing.

So today I plan to start stage fourteen of the get fit for Summer plan.

Stage one is persuading yourself it’s all hormonal and seasonal fat.

Christmas dinner, Easter eggs, cold weather, water-retention, the running of the tides - all these are better explanations for why your fattest Fat Pants are gaping at the seams.

Not that you ate too much and stayed on the sofa for the last three months.

Or that you have been stuffing your face with chocolate and counting walks to the Thai place across the road as exercise, oh no. It’s not your fault; it’s winter weight!

The first bit of Stage two is asking your partner or friend if you have put on a littl…

Spelling out hypocrisy

Stephen Fielding, Victorian Senator and the Federal parliamentary leader of the Family First Party in Australia, speaks out on the Punch about the mocking he over his disability.

He revealed that disability – dyslexia - this week. He has frequently mispronounced words, including stating "fiscal policy" as "physical policy". He was questioned about the mispronunciation. "I'll make it quite clear: fiscal, F-I-S-K-A-L," he spelt.

Journalists were quick to jump on the gaffe. The incident was a God send on a slow news day, and it appeared in every paper and every site. In the Senate, a Greens MP called out ''spell it'' as he tried to speak.

Unwilling to take the roasting lying down, he wrote back, revealing what many people suspected; that he is dyslexic.

He makes some excellent points. He argues that we shouldn’t mock people for their disabilities, that one disability does not negate their ability in other areas. There is nothing wrong wit…